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Trustee sells O.J.’s ‘confession’ book to Goldmans

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 3, 2007

MIAMI — The family of Ron Goldman has purchased the rights to O.J. Simpson's canceled book "If I Did It" from a court-appointed bankruptcy trustee in a settlement reached yesterday.

The book rights will be held in the name of Ron Goldman LLC, said family attorney David Cook, adding that the Goldmans will also have the rights to Simpson"s "name, likeness, signature and story."

The Goldmans want to rename the book "Confessions of a Double Murderer" and plan to shop it around, Mr. Cook said.

Mr. Goldman was stabbed to death along with Simpson's ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, in 1994. The former football star has maintained his innocence and was acquitted in one of the most publicized murder trials in American history. But Mr. Goldman's family won a civil wrongful-death case against the former football star now totaling more than $33 million.

"Ron Goldman LLC will own Simpson's name, likeness, signature and story and will hawk it to satisfy this terrible judgment. Justice has arrived in Miami," Mr. Cook said.

The Goldmans own the copyright, media rights and movie rights. They also acquired Simpson's name, likeness, life story and right of publicity in connection with the book, according to court documents.

According to the settlement, the Goldmans must pay the bankruptcy trustee 10 percent of the first $4 million in gross proceeds and a percentage of all proceeds beyond that.

Simpson's attorney, Yale L. Galanter, said the bankruptcy trustee doesn't have the right to sell anything on behalf of his client.

Last month, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge A. Jay Cristol paved the way for yesterday's settlement by upholding the Goldmans' right to their claim. He also ruled that a company started by Simpson's daughter, Arnelle, was set up "to perpetuate fraud."

Lorraine Brooke Associates, which owned the rights to the book, can be considered as belonging to the former football star, Judge Cristol said.

Simpson's book contract with HarperCollins, and a money trail showing $630,000 transferred from the publisher to Lorraine Brooke and then to Simpson for his expenses, confirm his connection to the company, Judge Cristol said.

Telephone or e-mail messages left for Kendrick Whittle, the attorney for Simpson's daughter, and independent trustee Drew Dillworth, were not returned last night.